By John Ikani
US President, Joe Biden on Thursday said the US is committed to coming to Taiwan’s defense if it comes under attack from China — a stance that seems in opposition to America’s stated policy of “strategic ambiguity.”
Asked twice during CNN’s Town Hall whether the US would protect Taiwan if China attacked, Biden said it would.
Biden had been asked by an audience member about China’s recent testing of hypersonic missile and questioned him about whether or not the United States would stand up to China.
“Don’t worry about whether they’re going to be more powerful,” Biden said after reaffirming that the rest of the world “knows” that the United States has the most powerful military in the world.
Biden also dismissed the idea that he wants to start another cold war with China.
“I don’t want a cold war with China,” Biden said. “I just want China to understand that we are not going to step back and we are not going to change any of our views.”
Biden has made similar statements in the past, only to have the White House say longstanding US policy had not changed toward the island. The US provides Taiwan defensive weapons, but has remained intentionally ambiguous on whether it would intervene militarily in the event of a Chinese attack.
Under the “One China” Policy, the US acknowledges China’s claim of sovereignty over Taiwan. In recent weeks, Beijing has sent dozens of warplanes near into Taiwan’s Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ), and Chinese President Xi Jinping has said that “reunification” between China and Taiwan was inevitable.
A White House official attempted to clarify Biden’s comments on Taiwan after the town hall, saying the President was “not announcing any change in our policy and there is no change in our policy” in his remarks about China and Taiwan.
“The U.S. defense relationship with Taiwan is guided by the Taiwan Relations Act. We will uphold our commitment under the Act, we will continue to support Taiwan’s self-defense, and we will continue to oppose any unilateral changes to the status quo,” the official said.
Recent aggression toward Taiwan by the Chinese communist regime has suggested that Beijing is looking to test the resolve of the Biden administration, particularly in the wake of the US withdrawal from Afghanistan, experts tell Fox News.
Beijing has sent dozens of warplanes over the last month towards the territory’s air defense zone, part of a muscular approach to the region which has been escalating for months. President Xi Jinping has also renewed calls for it to be brought into China, calling for “peaceful reunification.”
Beijing views Taiwan as a breakaway province and claims that it is part of its own territory. The two countries split in 1949, and China has been increasing pressure on the self-ruled nation, while opposing its involvement in international organizations such as the United Nations. The US does not formally recognize Taiwan, but maintains an unofficial relationship and is supportive of its democratic government.
Experts say that, while there are many reasons for China increasing its aggressive maneuvers recently toward the US ally, including domestic power struggles, the chaotic US withdrawal from Afghanistan is one of those contributing factors.